Please sign in to post.

Best way from Avignon to Paris

After spending a week cruising down the Rhone river my wife and I need to get to Paris after disembarking in Avignon. We're looking for the best way to get there and have been researching the Rail Europe sight as it looks like a 3 hour high speed train ride seems to be the best option. Really don't want to fly. Anybody find any better way? Also sounds like the sooner one books a ticket, on Rail Europe at least, the cheaper the trip is (I've been watching rates fluctuate alot)?

Luggage is a concern as even with our best efforts to minimize what we take, since we're spending a some considerable time on this trip, we will have some full sized luggage so overhead space isn't an option for some of our cases. I've read that the trains have luggage areas near the entrances/exits to the train cars, but wondering about security unless we sit right next to these areas with our seats facing them. Thought about a way to lock the handles to the racks if they might have those metal racks for the luggage. Anybody have any good tricks?

Thanks!

Posted by
977 posts

Have done this trip by train with a large suit case. As we have always done when travelling on trains in the UK and Europe, we secure the case in the luggage area with a flexible bike lock attached to the handle and luggage rack. Sit back, relax and enjoy the journey. I know some forumers will scoff at taking this precaution with accusations of paranoia. However my motto is 'better to be safe than sorry'.

Posted by
6487 posts

Gary,
Best way is by TGV train direct from Avignon to Paris. I wouldn't worry too much about large luggage placed at the end of the car because the train doesn't make intermediate stops so nobody can grab it and jump off the train with it, but if it gives you peace of mind locking it to the rack makes sense. I just had a carry-on so kept it with me at the seat.

Purchase tickets on this website: http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/, use France as your collection country. Purchased far enough in advance they are as little as €30/per person.

Are you going to spend a night in Paris? If you're not you can go directly from Avignon to CDG airport also, but that only works for late flights out.

Posted by
7607 posts

Train is definitely the best, but don't purchase from Rail Europe. Follow Nancy's advice and purchase from the French rail company SNCF.

Posted by
3336 posts

Definitely TGV. Just lock your luggage so you don't feel like you have to go check on it or sit somewhere where you can see it. I always buy my tickets directly through the SNCF website.

Posted by
6898 posts

Gary, there are great high-speed runs from both Avignon TGV and Avignon Centre to Paris. 2hrs39min. Advance non-refundable fares can be as low as 34Euro. On the really fast high-speed trains, the overhead luggage space has been reduced in height in trade for the aerodynamics of the train. But, as explained above, the train only makes 1-2 stops from Avignon to Paris. Website is http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/ Don't use RailEurope. You won't get the great discounts on their website. When you go to http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/, don't select USA as your Ticket Collection Country. If you do, they will try to switch you to RailEurope. Use France, Australia or any other country. Don't worry. As soon as you purchase the TGV tickets, you will get an email with the tickets. You print them out at home. Interestingly, France-SNCF, which owns a great deal of RailEurope, limits their TGV seats to passholders. Plus, they charge and extra 9Euro per TGV train ride to get your seat reservation. Here's what it says on the Eurail website. "There is a limited seat allocation for Eurail pass holders at a €9 fee. When this allocation is full, pass holders must buy a full fare ticket."

Posted by
182 posts

Thanks everybody. This has really helped. Now as I book my ticket with the SNCF website its saying my tickets need to be printed in A4 format. Google shows this is a paper size that is standard most everywhere except the US and Canada. Will they really not accept a ticket printed on standard letter size paper or do I really need to try to track down some A4 paper?

gary

Posted by
6487 posts

Just print them on regular 8-1/2 x 11 paper. I and others here have had no problem with that.

Posted by
2017 posts

Took this route the other way last year. No problem with my tickets printed on standard US size paper.